Warfare Incorporated for iPhone review

You may not have heard of it, but Warfare Incorporated is one of the biggest names in real-time strategy, at least on PDAs and other mobile devices. It’s now been translated to the iPhone, where the combination of large touch screen display and multi-touch input threatens to transform handheld strategy gaming.

Real-time strategy (RTS) games are mostly found on desktop machines rather than consoles because input is easier using a mouse than a control pad. Although the games themselves can vary, a typical RTS game involves creating buildings, and units for combat (typically infantry and vehicles); the other side of the game is raising funds (usually by sending a unit to harvest something on the battlefield). In this respect Warfare Incorporated is bang on the nail, so it’s hardly the most original game on the iPhone – being essentially the same as Command and Conquer was all those years ago.

However, it’s presented in a very compelling manner and manages to take the full-sized desktop experience and recreate it on the small iPhone screen. This is something that few iPhone games have successfully achieved.

The backstory of Warfare Incorporated is that you work for a futuristic mining corporation called Acme Inc, and you are collecting a material called Galaxite. You are locked in combat with a rival group called OMNI, and must spend some of the money you earn building up forces to fight off your rivals.

Part of the joy of Warfare Incorporated is the interface, and how it works with the iPhone’s multi-touch screen. You scroll around with the finger, click a unit to select it, then click again to move or attack. Double tapping a unit selects similar units nearby, and you can put two fingers on the screen to create a marquee and select a number of units.

The graphics are great, but sprite-based rather than full 3D. This means you can’t zoom in and out of the battlefield. When you select a unit it momentarily appears much larger to signify its selection.

OUR VERDICT

It’s a surprisingly effective system, and consequently the game works particularly well. The missions are long and varied and, on the whole, it’s well worth the asking price. This is one of the best games for the iPhone.

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